Vivo V5 Initial Hands-on Review: Contender for the Selfie Crown?

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Today, Vivo Philippines unveiled the successor to the Vivo V3 — the Vivo V5. The new device from the Chinese brand features a 20-megapixel front camera, making it a serious contender for the selfie crown. Here’s a bit of trivia if you’re wondering why there was a sudden leap in the naming convention from the V3 straight to the V5: the number 4 is an unlucky number in Chinese culture, but I digress.

Let’s dive in into this initial review for the Vivo V5 by first taking a look at its spec sheet.

Vivo V5 Specifications

  • 1.5GHz MediaTek 6750 octa-core processor
  • Mali T860 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-Inch HD IPS Display; 1280×720 Resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, LED Flash
  • 20-megapixel front camera f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint Scanner
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow, FunTouch UI
  • 3000mAh Battery

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Initial Impression:

The Vivo V5 is built similarly to previous releases by the Chinese company. Like the Vivo V3 and V3 Max, it has a metal body, but unlike its predecessors it’s been given gentler curves along its edges and looks more like its mid-ranged sibling, the Vivo Y55, that also sports a unibody design; making it easier to hold in one hand despite its screen size of 5.5-inches. The Vivo V5 has a number of differences from the V3 and V3 Max, but its best to take a tour around the device to show exactly what those are.

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Let’s start of with the back of the device. While the camera placement is still the same, the 13-megapixel rear camera has been given a rounder aesthetic and the LED flash shifted to just right of the camera module. One thing that’s also noticeably missing at the back of the device is the fingerprint scanner that has now been embedded in the V5’s home button.

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The right side houses the volume rocker and power button. On the left is the hybrid SIM card tray — which means you’ll have to either choose between a second SIM card or a microSD card — while the bottom of the V5 houses the 3.5mm jack, microUSB port, and the speaker grille.

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Flip the phone over and you’ll see the Vivo V5’s 5.5-inch IPS display and we’re a little disappointed that its resolution is just 720p. Despite that, icons and images are still crisp but we’ve grown a little accustomed to seeing displays of this size at Full HD.

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Right above the display is the touted 20-megapixel front camera. It has an aperture size of f/2.0 for smooth depth of field shots for your selfies and should help the camera perform a little better in low light conditions as well. The accompanying LED flash on the other side of the speaker grille is said to have a “moonlight glow” that should give even lighting for even better looking photos using the front cam.

Here’s a couple of sample photos from the Vivo V5’s front camera:

Night - Indoor Lighting

Night – Indoor Lighting with Front LED Flash

Night - Front LED Flash

Night – Front LED Flash

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On the V5’s chin is the home button and, as mentioned earlier, it houses the fingerprint scanner, which is fast and accurate like the ones found on the V3 and V3 Max. It’s also worth mentioning that you can’t actually press down on the home button and it functions more like the capacitive Android navigation keys flanking it.

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Under the hood of the Vivo V5 is a MediaTek 6750 octa-core processor that clocks in at 1.5GHz. The processor is paired with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and a Mali T860 GPU. Navigating through Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the FunTouch UI overlay was smooth, but we’ll have to take the V5 through its paces to actually see what its got and how long its 3000mAh battery can last.

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With its powerful front camera, it’s pretty obvious that Vivo is training its sights on its main competitor and fellow Chinese brand, OPPO. OPPO has a fair amount of selfie-centric smartphones in the market today, and Vivo’s mid-ranged entry is a direct challenge to OPPO’s dominance of selfie phones.

That’s pretty much it for this initial review for the Vivo V5, which has been priced at Php 12,990. We’ll be taking it out for a spin for its full review so do check the site in a week or two.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/JeDtTy)

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